So you want to get
from a narcissist.
Let us assure you of this: the worst is yet to come.
Such relationships tend to be high-conflict, expensive & traumatic. You need the right lawyer to move your matter forward, not backwards.
We strongly recommend that you engage legal assistance if your spouse lacks empathy & has a thirst to win at all costs.
DG Family Law assists & advocates for you to avoid common traps, give you confidence to take the next step and peace of mind as you seek to start afresh.
I just wished if I could have started my journey with Joshua, things
would have been a [lot] less painful.
... stop wasting your valuable time and money with other Law firms.
~ direct quote from another satisfied client.
You and your family deserve to be safe.
DG Family Law will assist you to navigate and finalise your family law matters, manage your ex- and give you your life back. You can rest assured that with DG Family Law, you are in safe hands. We have outlined some helpful tips and tools on how to engage well with a narcissistic ex- below for you to consider and start to plan your next steps.
Learn your Triggers.
Set your Boundaries.
Your ex- knows you better than almost anyone else on the plant. It should therefore be no surprise that they know how to make you feel stressed, overwhelmed or angry.
On the other side, you will also know their triggers. Breaking the dynamic of triggering and responding to each other’s triggers is important to enable effective communication about your children.
Do not be afraid to reach out to friends and even engage professional assistance - it can be really hard to break such established patterns. Do it for yourself, and do it for your children. Identify what situations tend to make you feel most upset and react in ways that you are not proud of. Make a plan to avoid or address these situations and dynamics.
While it might feel good to react to the other side and respond to the other side, such a response will often contribute to the animosity between the parties and unnecessarily put further stress onan already stressed co-parenting relationship.
Share your situation with trusted friends and family. You will benefit from a safe place to vent with trusted people and the accountability of having others who love you seeking to help you make better choices.
You do not have to respond to every text message and every email. Even when you have a lawyer, you are not always required to respond. In fact, sometimes doing nothing is the best step to take.
An unfortunate aspect of being in such an instant, connected world is that it can be difficult to disengage from an intense online interaction, even when you have physically separated.
While it is upsetting to receive a difficult message from your ex- about you, your family or your approach to parenting, there is often little benefit to responding to such communications.
Many solicitors will recommend services, such as Our Family Wizard to manage and document communications between sperated parties. This application allows both parties and their solicitors to observe and monitor interactions which tend to encourage better behaviour and cooperation between the parties.
Although it is easier said than done, if a response is not necessary, does not improve the situation nor communicate practical arrangements, try to leave it alone and find another outlet for your frustrations!
Remember that your ex-partner is not going to get over the situation easily, and so it is up to you to put the interests of the children forward and control what you can contribute. Determine what you want to give, and stick with it.
Set boundaries on the time you spend thinking about parenting arrangements and dealing with your divorce. Get a good night’s sleep by avoiding divorce “work” late at night – documentation, responding to correspondence – just before bedtime.
Although you will want to get everything with your divorce finalised, consider planning regular holidays from your divorce. This means that you do not speka about your narcissist ex- when you’re living your life, or going out on a date. By taking time away from your divorce, you will recharge yourself, enjoy your life more and perhaps even reengage in your divorce proceedings better!
Some clients have found it helpful to communicate with their narcissistic -ex spouse by ensuring that all communication is "business-like" - practical and to the point with minimal emotion or ambiguous expressions.
We also warn people not to listen to advice from friends and family. While they may mean well, they often don't understand that their divorce is not the same as yours and, even worse, the internet is not always a helpful guide to navigate your complicated situation!
Unless you are seeking advice from them, it could be worth setting some boundaries with your close friends and family as well. While it can be difficult to set boundaries with your time and interactions, it is worth giving thought to typical interactions that you are likely to face before you get there.
Do not Defend Yourself.
Hire a Reasonable Solicitor.
As tempting as it may be, it is a vicious cycle to get involved with. If you seek to engage with a narcissist, you will not win. Belive it or not, you will probably leave the "discussion" believing that you are in fact crazy, your needs are ridiculous and that you are so very surprisingly unreasonable.
When you are engaging with a narcissist, you must think critically and not engage based on your emotions. In other words, do not make decisions or engage with your ex- based on how you feel sorry for your ex-. Think about the implications of your choices for yourself, for your relationship and for your family.
Resist the urge to respond to your ex's interactions with anger, sarcasm or by being defensive. A typical narcissist will seek to trigger and provoke you to engage in a win-lose battle.
While it is very difficult to do, you will need to work at separating your feelings from the information that needs to be exchanged. Think of practical ways to manage your emotions and the resulting behaviours and introduce circuit breakers to stop yourself from engaging in ways that will only result in more difficulty.
If you cannot pick up the phone or engage in a text message exchange without reacting, then you must put everything in writing. Make sure you do this through text messages, emails or through Our Family Wizard.
Some people think that such an approach is deceptive or 'wrong'. However, such an approach can serve to strengthen your position in litigation as well as serving as a way to manage your emotions. In fact, keeping a clear record of what was said by who, when and in relation to what can be quite helpful if the matter does end up going to Court.
Remember that your narcissistic ex- will seek to use the child(ren) as a pawn. A true narcissist will lack conflict reolution skills and will typically seek to hurt you by undermining or obstructing your relationship with your child(ren). Be aware of this (especially in litigation) and expect minor issues to be inflated into serious allegations such as child abuse and neglect.
Further, documenting every communication can assist you in preventing further drama. Unfortunately for you, narcissists thrive on attention, even if it leads to a high-conflict divorce. Further, narcissists can turn on the charm at will, and pull out the knives when no one else is looking. Such an approach can moderate swearing and insults, bullying, threats, undermining parenting arrangements
While all lawyers complete the same education, they are not the same. You need to find a lawyer who understands your situation, takes measured action and resonates with your particular values. Someone who truly understands the nature of narcissism.
Do not hire the aggressive family law solicitor who advocates hard, makes a lot of money and leaves you in a worse financial position than when you started! Find a solicitor who is smart in their advocacy on your behalf.
It is important to find a solicitor you can trust, because we would then recommend that you ensure ALL COMMUNICATION goes through yourfamily law solicitor. This will minimise the potential for your ex-partner to hurt and control you, especially in the process of finalising your relationship.
As much as you can, do not be drawn into conversations with your ex-partner relating to your past, parenting arrangements or who is getting the dog unless you have the support of a third party. If you truly have a narcissistic ex-partner, engaging in such conversations can be dangerous.